anything for a buck

I`ve studied Japanese for long enough to have seen some of the wierder shows they have on, but the one I saw last night takes the cake. It was a competition called K1 or Kao 1 (face 1). The opening theme to the show consists of all the competitors telling the camera how they are going to be K1, and no one can beat them etc with some cheesy dramatic music in the background.
Not surprisingly there are three gaijin (foreigners) in the mix as is common on a show like this: one English guy, one American guy and a guy from New Zealand. They are usually thrown in because they are viewed as an oddity and thus considered hilarious. Honestly, I don`t understand how these guys can just throw away their pride but I guess people will do anything for a buck.
On with the show: the stage is revealed to show a panel of judges made up of all these Japanese celebrities, two presenters and the six competitors now with masks on to conceal their faces. One of the presenters begins to describe the point of the show which is apparently to find who can make the wierdest facial expression. Ah, the reason for the wierd title reveals itself. An hour of air time dedicated to making faces. God I love Japan.
Anyway, so the competitors unveal their faces one by one and do their thing and the judges give them a score out of ten. Fun huh? One guy did a thing where he popped his eyes out of his face (really gross because we were in the middle of dinner), another used all these rubber bands to collapse his face and a third guy put on fake teeth and squashed his face against a window pane. Charming.
In the end, that last one won (he was the American). Good for him – I wonder what he felt like making an ass of himself on a foreign TV programme. How about the other two guys who walked away with no prize money…youch.


One response to “anything for a buck

  1. The fact is that they do make a lot of money!
    I remember all these French cyclists who made quite a bit of dough in Japan when “keirin” was at its peak. They used to have their earnings sent to an account on a bank in Luxemburg to avoid the French taxes!

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